When I was working for a ministry, making a very low income in the early 1990s, my brother Doug stepped in as an art benefactor, offering me hundreds of dollars to buy art supplies to continue painting in my free time. Extremely generous and kind-hearted, don't you think?? I took him up on his offer, and asked him what I could paint for him. He said, “Something blue for my living room.” I came up with an angular pastel blues combo using fabric paints-- it was a disaster that neither of us liked, lol. I didn't know what else to do, and this blue painting was forgotten... Doug passed away in 2012, but his birthday was yesterday, June 26. He would have been 57. I made this with Doug in mind. “Blue Fire for Doug”. Have you ever created something with a loved one in mind?
Experimenting with new techniques in Photoshop using the tools from Creators Couture tutorial here.
Took a photo of Mom from her Fredonia State Teachers College Graduation in 1960 and gave it paintinerly effect!
My father took this photo of Mom before they were married. Dad was 26, Mom 21.
As my pursuit of creating art digitally is expanding I googled, "Top Digital Artists" today. This guy came up! If you have time, it's a beautiful, short, multiple-award winning film about this 97 year-old artist, his life and art. Enjoy!
The lovely poem Hal mentions (below) is by New Jerseyan, Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
In June I completed several new pieces responding to "Call for Art" for Atlanticare Foundation's Healing Arts Program, Egg Harbor Township, NJ. They needed artwork for their new Maternity/OB Ward. I'm delighted and honored to share that they purchased three of my pieces-- two collages and a painting! (below) Evan and I drove six hours to deliver them Friday. Thank you, Lord, and keep the blessings flowing!! Chery Broschard, the Development & Cultural Project Manager, is always looking for new art. To be added to her mailing list, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to know why this was such a breakthrough for me, drop me a line and I'll tell you more of the story!
I was incredibly honored last month to win my third award for Transformation, a 24" x 50" oil painting I created in college when I was 21 years-old. It came in Third Place ($200) in the Oakton Foundation Spring 2019 Visual Arts Competition. I'd like to share the original sketch as well as some insight behind the painting.
Like many, depression runs in my family. As a teenager I was caught in a downward spiral of anxiety and depression, and after a life-threatening crisis at age 16, I was briefly hospitalized and started getting treatment.
A few years later on my first day of college I met Sarabeth, a born-again Christian, who invited me to the Christian Fellowship group on campus. I went on and off, but mostly did my own thing for the next few years. But I became good friends with her and had many other Christians reach out to me. Even though I had been raised in church, it took me a long time to believe that the Heavenly Father really loved me and that all my sins were forgiven through the work of His Son, Jesus. It was difficult for me to grasp that Jesus bore the punishment for my sins, wanted to wash me clean with His blood and make “all things new” in my life. It seemed too good to be true! But in 1984 I cried out to the Lord and received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me, and a journey that I look forward to continuing for all eternity!
(To learn more about God's gift of salvation, click here.)
This painting reflects the transformation that took place in me. He brought me out of a dark place into his marvelous love. Colossians 1: 13 AMPC, "[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love."
A book I'm currently reading which addresses healing in our hearts and I highly recommend is, Unlocking the Heart of the Artist by Matt Tommey.
Recently completed, "Heart Flower Grid" mixed media, 12 x 12
This was submitted to a "Call for Entry" for
Maternity and OB spaces at AtlantiCare Medical Center in Egg Harbor Township, NJ
This top piece was purchased by AtlantiCare Foundation, Egg Harbor Township, NJ for their Maternity/OB Ward!
Recently completed, "Flower Fields #1 & #2" 12" x 24", acrylic
These were created for submission to a "Call for Entry" for
Maternity and OB spaces at AtlantiCare Medical Center, Egg Harbor Township, NJ
I recently attended an incredible guided tour of the Pennsylvania Capitol Building in Harrisburg, PA with the Eastern PA Branch of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. The capital is amazingly beautiful!
(Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so these shots were taken with my flip phone.)
"Designed and manufactured by Henry Chapman Mercer (1856-1930) of Doylestown, the floor is interspersed with close to 400 mosaics illustrating the state's history, animals, industries, occupations, and modes of transportation."
"When Theodore Roosevelt attended the dedication of the building on October 4, 1906, he said,
'This is the handsomest building I ever saw.'"
We also got to meet and visit the studios of Jonathan Bean and Lauren Castillo, two incredibly talented, award-winning authors and illustrators at The Millworks. Here are a few of their book covers (below).
A Visual Diary